School of engineering and applied science

Neuroscience, statistics, and data science—in three minutes

Mehraveh Salehi, a PhD student in the labs of professors Amin Karbasiand Todd Constable, took first place in the first Ivy Three-Minute Thesis event. Hosted by Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the United Nations, the competition allows each participant only three minutes and one image to explain their research. Focusing on brain maps that describe the differences between people, as well as from one state of mind to another, Salehi’s research could potentially lead to better understanding how brains change from one emotional state to another and to new treatments for depression.

Award honors outstanding teaching in engineering

Ruzica Piskac, assistant professor of computer science, was selected for the 2019 Ackerman Award for Teaching and Mentoring. Made possible by a gift from engineering alum Robert W. Ackerman ’60, the award recognizes outstanding teaching and mentoring in SEAS. Piskac’spractice of encouraging her students’ interests results in an eclectic mix of studies, each complementing the others. “I talk with them and I see what they’re interested in and I tell them what I’m interested in, and we always find a topic that will be good for all of us—where we can all grow,” she said.

Understanding how cancer cells move

Yale researchers have discovered how metastasis, the spread of cancer cells throughout the body, is triggered on the molecular level. The study was led by Andre Levchenko, the John C. Malone Professor of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Yale Systems Biology Institute. The researchers focused on how changes in the extracellular matrix, which acts as a scaffold for cells, starts the process of cells breaking apart from each other. They also developed a tool with the potential to detect those triggers in patients with certain cancers. The discovery could potentially be used to develop new prognostic tests and new treatments.

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